The Joy of being an entrepreneur can not be compared to anything else; the flexibility it presents for a better work/life balance, the independence to make decisions, and fulfillment derived from the driving change is thrilling.
However, the journey to business success may often be characterized by certain frustrations and challenges that every prospective entrepreneur may never envisage or even imagined. Just like the famous South African Speaker, Vusi Thembekwayo describes the life of an entrepreneur: he
You gotta believe that you’ll make money at the end of the month which often you’ll not;
You gotta believe that you can compete with great companies which often you can’t;
You gotta believe that you can reach all your customers which often you won’t;
You gotta believe that you’ll do so cheaply, cost-effectively and still make a profit which in the early day, you won’t do.
Many young and aspiring entrepreneurs usually have some misleading conceptions about entrepreneurship, which affects them in the long run. It is therefore imperative to debug these six (6) myths if you must succeed in business.
1). Everyone who is Self Employed is an Entrepreneur
An entrepreneur and a self-employed person may share the similarity of owning a ‘business’, but beyond that, there is a vast difference between the two.
You see, the guy who owns a grocery store down the street is not an entrepreneur simply because he owns a grocery store, and you learning a skill or starting a ‘business’ does not make you an entrepreneur either.
While a sole proprietor is a contented safe player who typically carries all the responsibilities of an employee which of course creates many limitations for the business, an entrepreneur is a risk-taker, an opportunist, and a Leader. Entrepreneurship is a mindset. It’s a way of thinking.
An entrepreneur is a problem solver and change maker. He is a square peg in a round hole who does the most unconventional things to gain traction in business.
2). An Entrepreneur has it ALL
A great entrepreneur must be a good team player. Why would you need a team if you had it all?
Entrepreneurship is all about being in charge of an enterprise; organizing, managing, and assuming the risks of the enterprise, and this is so not a one-man but a team effort!
That is why you have the business consulting firms, the Human Resource, and Customer Relationship Managers, the Business Intelligence Analysts, and the Data Scientists and hey!, even the Cleaner and the Security guy. These guys individually play unique roles and are all there to contribute to your business success. You don’t necessarily have to go through the illusion of wanting to know, have, or be everything. That’s impossible!
It takes a team of entrepreneurial minds to successfully manage a venture.
3). There’s a Secret Single Formula to Entrepreneurial Success
In the game of entrepreneurship, there is no unique and golden secret. There are no rules, just principles. Success comes through experiments and analysis of results that inform decision making. You have to learn what works for your business.
Your business strategy is unique to you, usually determined by the nature of your product or service, your location, your customers, your competition, your vision and mission, your scale of operation, your business structure, culture and ethics, and sometimes your employees.
Now you see that two companies no matter how similar cannot really have an exactly identical business model.
4). Launching a company quickly leads to Wealth
Do you know that 90% of startups fail? And this is one secret assumption that frustrates many startups out of business?
You may not start making a profit immediately from your business, it could be as bad as you not breaking even, but incurring losses rather. You may bootstrap for longer than you anticipated, but you must stay on course. That is why you need to have a committed team that buys your vision and are willing to pay the price with you.
Entrepreneurship is a battlefield, and only the consistent and resilient wins.
5). Analysis Paralysis
This is the assumption that everything must be clear or certain before you start, probably to avoid making a lot of mistakes. Too much analysis leads to Paralysis.
In business, assumptions and mistakes are inevitable especially at the initial stages, and the earlier you start making those mistakes the better. It only becomes a problem when you repeat the same mistakes.
The secret to getting ahead is getting started not by making too many analyses on something you’ve not even tested yet. It’s okay to do it afraid, but make sure you do it!
6.) Entrepreneurship requires Huge Funding
Many aspiring and existing startups feel that every big idea requires big money. No! Every big idea does not require big money. It requires the right person, the right team, the right mindset, the right collaborations, the right environment, the right model, the right strategy, the right market, the right opportunities…name it!
The rule is this: Start small, Think big, Scale quick!